BEDLINGTON Terriers ran out comprehensive winners against Alnwick Town as the two faced off at St James Park on Wednesday night.
Two goals apiece for Steven Baptist, Anthony Shandran and Lawrence McKenna gave the Terriers their most emphatic win of pre-season so far as they prepare for their EBAC Northern League division one campaign.
But it was not all plain sailing for the away side, and they came under pressure within the first 30 seconds as keeper Kevin Morton saved brilliantly from Alnwick’s Moffat.
The early moments of the game were scrappy, with Bedlington constantly getting caught by Alnwick’s high defensive line, with Shandran being flagged offside several times in the early stages.
Alnwick, meanwhile, were pushing for a breakthrough, but most of their attempts were coming from long range.
The first 20 minutes went by without much incident before Bedlington opened the scoring.
Baptist made a front post run from a right side corner taken by Andy Ferrell. He beat his marker to the ball and headed home powerfully at the near post to finish off a well-executed set-piece.
Six minutes later another set-piece proved the downfall of Alnwick.
Mark Convery played the ball in from the left wing, with the ball eventually landing at the feet of centre-back Andrew Leeson. The powerful centre back hit a right foot effort which was well saved by Alnwick keeper Biel but the rebound fell to Shandran and he composed himself before finishing at the near post.
It could have been 3-0 just four minutes later as McKenna picked off a poor back pass by the Alnwick defence. Biel came out to meet him and he was up to the challenge as he clawed the ball away from danger.
Bedlington had another golden chance on 38 minutes as McKenna broke the offside trap once more.
As the striker moved towards goal he laid the ball across to Shandran on the penalty spot, but his strike floated over the ball.
One minute later, left back Adam Wilkinson played a cross-field ball to Kris Gate, who beat the offside trap before rolling the ball across to McKenna to finish in emphatic style.
It was four just before the half ended as Alnwick centre back Tom MacPherson misjudged a back pass that Biel cleared off the line. But the loose ball fell to Baptist on the left hand edge of the penalty area and he found the right hand corner of the net.
The second half continued in the same vein as the first as Bedlington looked to add to their lead.
Some excellent work along the right by McKenna provided a quality cross for Gate, unfortunately the midfielder could not direct his header goalwards.
It took until the 59th minute for Bedlington to add to their tally.
Once again McKenna broke the Alnwick high-line and bared down on goal, this time his chipped finish found the bottom right hand corner of the home side’s net.
The rest of the second half petered out without much incident as both teams made substitutions and Bedlington controlled possession.
It wasn’t until the 85th minute that Bedlington finished off the scoring.
A mazy run from striker Shandran saw him go past two played before finishing from the tightest of angles.
Bedlington Terriers: K Morton, C Baxter, R Pell, A Leeson, A Wilkinson, M Convery, K Gate, A Ferrell, S Baptist, A Shandran, L McKenna. Subs used : C Morton, S Bowey.